Fertility & Prenatal Nutrition Counseling | West University Moms

Written by Nicole Fennel, MS, RDN, LD, CLT of Chews Food Wisely

Hormones run the show when it comes to achieving whole-body harmony. The balancing act of hormones in the body is a well-timed and choreographed dance that are affected, both positively and negatively, by the foods we eat, the environment we are surrounded by, and the state of our mentality. We must eat to support our hormones so that we work with our body versus against it.

The female body is strong, intelligent, and resilient if given the necessary tools to do so. Women are incredibly sensitive to changes in dietary pattern, prolonged nutritional deficiencies, and both physical and emotional stress, and all of these factors can immediately shut off the body’s ability and desire to reproduce. Low-calorie diets, fat-free diets, low protein diets, extreme avoidance diets, over-exercising, high-stress levels, poor sleep habits, negative self-talk, and medicinally controlled menstrual cycles have negative effects on the ability to conceive with ease.

Pregnancy Nutrition and Why it is Important

Preparing the female body for pregnancy ideally begins during the reproductive years long before pregnancy is actually achieved. However, because many pregnancies are not planned, it is important to always be primed and in optimal health to carry a baby as the first few weeks after conception are when a fetus is at highest risk for birth defects. Unless the pregnancy is planned or you are very in-tune with your body, often times women do not realize they are pregnant until symptoms occur such as missed period, nausea, breast tenderness which may not happen until 6-8 weeks. On average, women are not able to get in to see a physician until after 8 weeks of pregnancy, at which point so many developmental milestones have occurred that are dependent on good nutritional standing.

Foods for Fertility

To increase chances of getting pregnant and carrying a healthy baby to term is highly dependent on several factors which include adopting a real-food diet, avoiding “health stealing” foods, ridding the body of unnecessary toxins, evaluating your body’s ability to utilize certain nutrients based on your genetics, ensuring adequate nutrient status, and supporting your gastrointestinal system.

Nicole’s Five-Phase Approach for Fertility Involves:

  1. Learning to Eat for your Hormones
  2. Optimizing Your Nutrient Numbers
  3. Healing your Gut and “Growing your Bugs”
  4. Enhancing Your Detoxification Pathways
  5. Prioritizing Sleep and Stress Management

Overcome Your Fertility Challenges with Integrative and Functional Nutritional Therapy:

The decision to have a baby is a big one. And let’s face it, if you have been trying to conceive for a long time, the act of making a baby can become quite robotic, boring, and chore-like. Couple that with the added stress of being let down at yet another negative pregnancy test which only makes matters worse. 

What are the Suggested Lab Tests?

Initial visits are recommended one year prior to conception, during each trimester, and three months after birth to ensure optimal nutritional health for healthy conception, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and post-partum period.


About Nicole:

Nicole S. Fennell is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist as well as a Certified LEAP Nutritional Therapist offering group and individual nutrition education. She tailors nutrition counseling based on the needs of each client, sharing evidence-based guidelines and research, and providing the necessary tools for permanent lifestyle changes utilizing a “real food” philosophy. By using advanced, state-of-the-art laboratory testing, Nicole is able to dive deep into your cellular nutritional status and individualizes nutritional recommendations for each patient. Contact her here 

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